When I first got into cycling (because Michael was so into it, it grew on me) I bought a pair of low-end cycling shorts from the Pearl Izumi outlet store. They worked great. They may have been low-end in price but the quality was decent.
The chamois (padding) was actually pretty good for being entry-level. These bike shorts are my favorite because the padding is good and it worked well for long rides. I biked Reach the Beach in these shorts (55 miles) and when I do long rides in training for the Portland Century I use these shorts.
The problem with Shorts #1? They are a size medium and the waist is tight and uncomfortable. Depending on how much I weigh it can dig into my skin and irritate it. (When I did Reach the Beach I was 10 pounds heavier than I am now.)
Bike Shorts #2 are a pair of Sugoishorts that were sent to me from a company last year. They are higher quality than the Pearls but the chamois doesn’t have much padding. As a result I don’t wear these shorts for long rides. They are a size Large so they don’t dig into my waist.
Recently I ordered a pair of women’s bib shorts. I was skeptical about getting bib shorts but Michael raved about them so much and he loved how comfortable his shorts were I decided to give it a try. In fact, if you missed it, he wrote a post on Why You Shouldn’t Buy Cycling Shorts.
First I have to say that the service I got from RealCylist.com was amazing. I ordered the shorts on the Friday of 4th of July weekend and received them Tuesday! I was expecting it to take at least a week, especially with the holiday.
I tried on the bib shorts and they were too small. I went off the sizing chart and it said I was a medium according to my measurements. Not so much. The return was super easy. I printed out the UPS form and dropped it off and my exchange came a few days later. So easy!
I received the size Large and it turned out they were defective–one leg was tighter than the other. I called, spoke to a human being (what a change!) and they immediately shipped out a replacement. I called on Monday night and received the replacement Wednesday! That’s what I call service! And the new pair fit like a dream! They are perfect.
Details about the Giordana Forma Red Carbon Custom Bib Shorts:
- Aerofix waistband and bib, which consists of Ametista backed with stretchy, breathable Antigua fabric, holds the shorts in place without pressure points or digging
- Wide Aerofix cuffs offer extra support and prevent the short from riding up
- Low-profile Alta OmniForm chamois, Giordana’s top-of-the-line insert, provides low-bulk comfort, protection and support
- Rear micromesh panel is treated to enhance wicking
I wish I hadn’t waited so long to try the bib shorts! What a difference in comfort they make. I’m not entirely happy with the chamois in my new bib shorts, though. After a few longer test rides I noticed that the padding wasn’t quite enough. I know there will be a way to fix that though. It’s not a total loss: I found out the superior comfort of bib shorts! I am converted!
QUESTION: What do you wear when you bike? Have you tried bib shorts?